The many gems of the Yorkshire Dales
When we host visiting friends and family, from both the UK and overseas here in Masham, they all love staying at Morton House and The Stable Block. Being a host who loves to share the Yorkshire I have experienced and enjoyed myself over the last 15 years, I have a list of ‘must see’ places to take them – particularly the ‘Antipodeans’ who I love to shower with everything Yorkshire! Unsurprisingly, the many gems of the Yorkshire Dales are top of the list as we are so close to such spectacular scenery and wide-open spaces.
Whatever you want to see … Medieval Castles, Abbey ruins, Grand Stately Homes and Gardens, Steam Trains, wildflowers, red squirrels, star filled night skies … or just the simple pleasures of feeling the sand between your toes on the Yorkshire Coast … with so many gorgeous views and places to visit in Yorkshire, we are certainly spoiled for choice.
So how do you choose where to explore when you have limited time?
Some of my favourites are just a drive by … particularly when we are travelling with someone who may not be as mobile as they used to be, they can still appreciate the views from the car while travelling all over the Yorkshire Dales and Moors.
Over the coming weeks I’d like to share with you 5 suggested routes for days out around the Yorkshire Dales and Moors, so you can experience some of those fantastic views when you visit Yorkshire too. You could use these routes as a guide to pick and choose the stops which might interest you for views, dining, exploring … and so much more. I’ve included links to other websites to so you can find out more how to get the best out of your Yorkshire adventure. I hope you will let me know what other gems you find along the way!
So pack a picnic if you want to keep away from others, you will find many wonderful spots to stop and enjoy a cuppa along the way (you can order ahead at Bordar House Teas or The Lunchbox), plan your stops in the smaller hamlets if you prefer to eat out … or just ‘wing it’ – however you travel, when you’re in your own car on your own time frame, you’re in charge!
ROUTE 1: The single track road from East Witton and onto Kettlewell
This is one of our favourite drives, which we do at least once a year and is as stunning in winter as summer, spring or autumn … it’s the drive up the single track from East Witton and on over to Kettlewell with is magnificent views of Whernside … up there you can feel so small as the land and sky surround you. The buzzards and red-kites are incredible to watch soaring over the wide open spaces and the hardy black faced sheep are dotted over the hillsides – you might even come across a Highland Coo … or two!
Enjoy a coffee or snap of lunch in the little village of Kettlewell and if you want to make a ‘loop’ journey back to Masham, you could take the valley floor road following along the River Wharfe till you climb again up to Hawes and Hardraw. Stop to enjoy the cheese tasting room at the Wensleydale Creamery (I love it in there!) and wander the many independent shops in the town, perhaps to pick up a little antique keepsafe. If you enjoy a waterfall take time to visit Hardraw Force waterfall, famously used by Kevin Costner in the Robin Hood movie to bathe under. Access is via the pub and there is a charge (around £4/pp) so stop for some refreshment and I think it’s free. This is also the site for the brass band competition held annually in September.
And here’s a little gem I found out about recently and haven’t had the chance to visit yet myself … The Red Squirrel Trail at Snaizenholme. It’s a 2.5mile circular walk and if you fancy a bit of wildlife watching this is one of 17 refuges for Red Squirrels in Northern England. I’m told it’s a great place to have a picnic and there is a bus from the Visitor centre in Hawes to take you there … so maybe leave the car for a few hours and stretch your legs enjoying the conifer woodland.
Leaving Hawes behind you can travel the ‘high’ road along the valley to Bolton Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the country. If you have time and enjoy history, it’s well worth the visit and entry fee.
Then you can enjoy the drive back through the town of Leyburn and onto Middleham which is known for its thoroughbred horse racing stables. If you are visiting around Easter the town hosts an open day for charity on Good Friday where you can visit the stables and enjoy everything about horse racing.
If it’s getting late and you fancy a bite to eat in a real Yorkshire Pub, you can re-join the road to Masham at Cover Bridge and enjoy home cooked food … or continue with the jaunt home through Thornton Steward and Thirn to enjoy the countryside views a little longer … arriving back home to relax and bank those new memories … and it might just be time for a cuppa (or a Masham Ale!).
Back home to relax and bank those new memories …
We have good mid-week availability in Oct/Nov/Dec so why not take advantage of our Mid-Week Offers including afternoon tea, brewery tours and spa access. Call us to tailor a package just for you.